Bryan Schneider is cocktail mastermind and bar director at Manhattan’s Quality Italian, where (surprise) some really quality Italian drinks get stirred up and slurped down. There you’ll find supremely balanced Negronis on tap and Fernet and Colas that’ll remove ‘acquired taste’ from your vocabulary. Would you care for a bit of house-made Sambuca? Si si!
The list of drinks Bryan has concocted is something of a treasure trove… we know because we drank all of them multiple times in one sitting. Still, it’s one of his wackier brainchildren that takes the cake, gets the cigar, attains pièce de résistance status: the flavor-packed Italian ice cube.
What are “Tricolore Cubes” you ask? First and foremost, they’re ice cubes. Secondly, they’re designed to proudly display the colors of the Italian flag. Third, they’re packed with flavors (jalapeño, Cointreau and strawberry) that spice up and enhance your drink as you drink it. Finally, they’re quite easy to make and way worth it.
Bryan was kind enough to hook us up with the means of making his majestic invention, and we’re kind enough to share it with you. We dropped these cubes into Margaritas and got tremendous results, but exploration is highly encouraged.
In a 2” x 2” Silicon ice cube mold, freeze the following mixes in equal sized layers, making sure the layers are completely frozen before adding the next layer.
To get precise measurements, use a measuring stick and fill each mold to the mark on the stick. Be sure to fill to slightly less than 1/3rd the height of the cube mold, because ice expands. Make sure to do it in the order below to get the correct color order of the Italian flag.
Layer #1: Green/Jalapeño
In a blender, add 1 whole large jalapeno (or 2 small jalapenos) to 2 cups of water.
Blend on high for 20 seconds.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer before adding to the molds.
Layer #2: White/Cointreau
Mix 4 oz Cointreau with 2 cups water.
Layer #3: Red/Strawberry
Add 5 strawberries and 2 cups of water to a blender.
Puree on high for 20 seconds, then strain through a fine mesh strainer.